Finance chief says subpoena is not necessary

Atalig says a lot of requested documents will be submitted by today’s deadline

Department of Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig said Friday that the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee’s issuance of a subpoena to compel Finance to provide numerous reports or documents that the committee members have sought, is not necessary but still they will provide as much as they’re able to.

In response to Saipan Tribune’s questions during KKMP press briefing, Atalig said he really believes that a subpoena is not necessary, as it is just a matter of having good communication between his office and the House Ways and Means Committee.

“The committee decides to do things and acts on things without even consulting my office or the executive branch. So it is hard  to know that they’re asking  and what they wanted to discuss,” he said.

Last Aug. 29, Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota) issued a subpoena on Finance acting secretary Margaret Bertha C. Torres to request for documents pertaining to several reports that have been promised during committee meetings, as well as fund status pertaining to some allocations that have  yet to be transferred over to other government agencies.

The committee requested a total of 28 items and gave Torres a deadline to submit those by today, Monday.

It was Rep. Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) who offered the motion to issue the subpoena during the committee meeting last Aug. 17.

Atalig said when the committee called to meet with them, he was not prepared because they were not communicating on what issues they wanted to discuss.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to do a subpoena for documents. Simple request to my office and direct communication go a long way in building that partnership  in betterment of our finances for the CNMI,” he said.

Atalig said, however, they will submit something today, Monday.

“So a lot of these documents  that they’re asking will be forthcoming to them,” he said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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